Northern Lights: Britons can see the aurora borealis from home this December – here’s how

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The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, are most commonly seen in countries such as Iceland, Norway, Canada and Russia. However, during the winter months when skies are particularly dark, some Britons have been lucky enough to spy them from home.

This year, though, there are even more opportunities to spot the beautiful display from all corners of the UK.

The Northern Lights are a mystical cacophony of colours which can be seen shimmering across the sky.

They are best viewed when it is particularly dark, which is why the long nights of winter are the most suited to seeing them.

The array of hues is caused by charged solar particles interacting with the Earth’s magnetic fields

Most typically, they are seen in shades of green and pink but have also been known to transform the skies with shades of blue, violet, yellow and occasionally red.

If you are hoping to spot the lights in person, they are best viewed from the northern parts of the country.

However, in the past, some lucky Britons have managed to spot them from as far south as Kent and even Cornwall.

Luckily, thanks to technology, now you can watch the incredible array of colours from the comfort of your own sofa.

A new streaming service dedicated to the Northern Lights has placed cameras in some of the most popular areas to view them.Ah

The Aurora Network has cameras in Alaska, Norway and Iceland.

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This means viewers can add a little magic to their day thanks to the live streams which run throughout the winter months.

For those who don’t have time to sit and wait for a glimpse of the lights, the Aurora Network also has a handy app which can be downloaded directly onto your smartphone.

The app will give alerts and notifications when the vivid display can be seen in any of its locations.

It can be downloaded for free for the first month, with a subscription fee of 99p thereafter.

If you are eager to see them in person, however, there are some specific hotspots across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.


Residents in Scotland are among some of the most likely to catch a glimpse of the magical natural phenomenon.

Around 70 percent of Scotland is made up of rural land free from the glare of city lights.

This makes it even easier to spot the display in these parts of the country.

According to WWF, the most likely spots to see the lights are the Scottish Highlands and Scottish Isles.

WWF also list some other northern hotspots as:

  • • Shetland, Orkney and Caithness
  • • Aberdeenshire and the Moray Coast
  • • Lewis, Harris and the most northerly tip of Skye
  • • The Cairngorms
  • • Galloway Forest Park
  • • Rannoch Moor and Perthshire
  • • Angus and the coast of Fife
  • • Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh


Due to the location of the Northern Lights, unsurprisingly the northern regions of England are some of the best places to see the colourful display.

The Lake District has also been cited as a prime viewing location, with Derwent water near Keswick listed as one of the major hotspots.

In southern regions, the lights have been spotted in areas such as Exmoor National Park in Devon and southernmost parts of the Cornish coastline.


In Wales, Brecon Beacons and Anglesey are two spots which have been highlighted by avid Northern Lights enthusiasts in the past as prime locations to see the display.

Northern Ireland

Much like the rest of the UK, the northern parts of the country are the best areas to spot the aurora borealis.

Along the uppermost coastline of the Malin sea is a great location to try and catch the colours at their best.

Giants Causeway has also been listed as a scenic spot to observe the Northern Lights.

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